NEC Poll: As the Election Nears, All Races Up for Grabs
Voters Also Express Concerns about Ebola in NH
As Election Day approaches, all of the races surveyed in the newest New England College Poll are tightening. Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, said “Responses from our fifth weekly general election poll of 1,081 registered likely voters show that three of the four races – the Senate race, and the First and Second Congressional District races – are too close to call within this poll’s margin of error. Only Governor Hassan has a lead outside of the margin of error, and that lead has shrunk when compared to last week’s poll.”
United States Senate
For the third straight week, the US Senate race in New Hampshire is statistically a dead heat. According to Lesperance, “This week Republican Scott Brown leads Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen 48% to 46.9%. However, this is well within the 2.98% margin of error. So the Senate race is just too close to call.” 2.8% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.3% are unsure.
Republican challenger Frank Guinta leads Democrat Representative Carol-Shea Porter 46.3% to 43.5%. “The results in the First Congressional district remain very tight,” said Lesperance. “Last week, Carol Shea-Porter led. In both polls the advantages have been within the margin of error.” According to the poll, 5.7% said they preferred another candidate while 4.6% of respondents were not sure who they would support.
In the Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster continues to lead Republican Marilinda Garcia 46.1% to 42.5%. “Challenger Marilinda Garcia has closed a substantial gap with Representative Kuster,” noted Lesperance. “The incumbent’s lead has shrunk from prior polls to 3.6%. Looking inside the numbers, Representative Kuster’s strength remains in her 9% lead among women. Garcia leads among men by 2.6%.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 6.6% with 4.9% not sure.
Registered likely voters continue to prefer Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan over Republican Walt Havenstein 48.7% to 43.5%. However, that lead has shrunk. “Walt Havenstein is gaining ground on Governor Hassan, cutting her lead to just over 5%,” said Lesperance. 2.7% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 5.1% said they were not sure.
NH Voter Opinion: Concerns about Ebola
This week’s New England College Poll asked respondents about the Ebola virus outbreak. 58.4% of respondents said they somewhat or strongly approve of the federal government’s actions to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the US. While most Granite Staters approve of the federal government’s handling of the Ebola virus in the US, nearly two-thirds of respondents are concerned that the virus will affect New Hampshire.
According to Lesperance, “When asked how concerned they were that the Ebola virus would affect New Hampshire, 61% indicated they were very or somewhat concerned. 25.4% indicated little or no concern. Interestingly, among those concerned about Ebola affecting New Hampshire, women expressed more concern than men 67.6% to 53.6%.”
This New England College Poll was conducted on October 9, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,081 responses were obtained: 536 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 545 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races, and the Ebola virus is +/- 2.98%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 4.23%, and for CD2, +/- 4.20%.
This is the fifth in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/.